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What You Should Know About Biological Warfare


Published 1952


How can we protect ourselves against the threats of germs and toxins? Cold War America gears up to fend off threats from unconventional bioweapons.


Run time 7:17
Producer Ray (Reid H.) Film Industries
Sponsor U.S. Federal Civil Defense Administration
Audio/Visual Sd, B&W

Shotlist

SHOWS HOW GERMS, TOXINS & PLANT GROWTH REGULATORS ARE USED IN BIOLOGICAL WARFARE, HOW ATTACKS MAY OCCUR, & WHAT INDIVIDUAL SHOULD DO IF EPIDEMIC RESULTS.


Ken Smith sez: This civil defense film is chock full of extraordinarily bad advice, and portrays the aftermath of a full-scale "BW" attack as nothing worse than a flu epidemic. "Probably some of the people in your neighborhood would become sick," the narrator concedes, but "modern drugs" would quickly solve the problem. "Authorities will tell you what to do," he informs us. "Be careful what you eat and drink." A pretty dull film, but watch for the scene where the fifth columnist assaults a reservoir and the city's water supply with germ-filled spray cans.
00:16:52 cu EXCELLENT shot (tight close-up) of man whispering into another person's ear (reads SECRECY; TOP SECRET; GOSSIP; etc) (Original t/c is 01:16:29:15)
Danger Lurks BIKINI ATOMIC BOMB TEST, WATERBURST PEOPLE GOSSIPING MODEL SUBMARINE MODELS ENEMY AGENTS RESERVOIRS FAMILIES RADIOS CANNING FOOD PATIENTS ON STRETCHERS AMBULANCES SUBURBS BLOOD SAMPLES SPLIT-SCREEN MONTAGES health and safety
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Reviews

Reviewer: unzar - - June 2, 2008
Subject: No Laughing Matter
The striking thing about this film is the fact the subject matter was addressed over fifty years ago. Now, instead of a justifiable fear of Communist attacks, we have a justifiable fear of Islamist attacks. Swap out some names, update some info and re-release it.

And while it's foolish to believe everything the government tells you, it's equally foolish to believe the ranting blogger or reporter. As the film said, "Above all, don't listen to scare talk, rumors or myths."

Which means, turn the TV off.
Reviewer: Spuzz - - April 21, 2005
Subject: In 7 minutes!
Well, SPEEDY film that tells you all you need to know what you should do in case biological warfare should ever strike. While I was watching this I was briefly thinking about the anthrax scare a little while back, but that thought quickly dissapaited while watching this silly film. Full of weird orders of what you should do, ("Boil everything! "Scrub your floors down!") and the very strange "If a loved one is taken away, cooperate!"). this also has quite a lot of repetitious images, eg, the mother who KEEPS HAVING VISITORS TO HER DOOR, and the poor girl who keeps getting a thermometer thrust into her mouth LOL Reccomended!
Reviewer: DrAwkward - - October 24, 2003
Subject: Clean
How do you keep safe from anthrax? Wash your clothes and pour boiling water over your dishes. Obey your government and medical officials. Do not panic. It would be laughable if this policy had changed at all since then. It reminds me of how the government told people that the dust from the WTC at ground zero wasn't toxic, and some people actually believed them. God Bless America!
Reviewer: Chuck B - - March 11, 2003
Subject: Bio Warfare Film Info Still Applicable
While the film is old, and a little corney for today's audience...much of the info in it is still applicable today if, God forbid, there should be a terrorist bio attack. It seems that some of the reviewers think that it will be the end of the world and there is nothing you can do with a BW attack..there are things that can be done and it will not be the end of the world. Any medical personnel can tell you that personal cleanliness is the basic thing one needs to do to slow germ spread...the next is isolation (if it is an infectous disease)...and preventative as well as systematic innoculation (if available for that BW agent). Even today public health efforts would look at disease outbreaks, patterns of disease cases, and try various antibiotics to control the spread (if it was an infectious disease). It would be important, if you had possible sxposure to an infectoius agent such as smallpox for instance...to not leave an area...but stay there and get innoculated. If you left an area you would further spread the disease. So, ye nay sayers maybe need to do a little reading on the topic and not be so glum.
Entertainment value if you like old movies ****
Value of useful info ***
Reviewer: Bamaboy - - March 5, 2003
Subject: Classic
This film is pretty classic Civil Defense Department stuff. The CD folks had the unhappy job of trying to keep Joe Q. Public from mass panic. They often did this by treating the citizenry like a dying cancer patient...just keep them comfortable until the end finally comes. There is some classic "cloak and dagger" type stuff showing the bad guys tainting the water supply etc.

We are told that modern science and doctors would save us all from B.W. (toxins, germs, and plant growth regulators).

I wonder if anyone in the Department of Homeland Defense has dusted this film off recently?
Reviewer: organon - - February 13, 2003
Subject: an ounce of prevention...
"What can you do to help prevent biological attacks?" this film asks.
The answer: keep clean!
[A woman on her knees washing the floor with a rag]
[a man in the shower]

This will prevent biological attacks ?
How moronic!
Reviewer: Christine Hennig - - October 30, 2002
Subject: What You Should Know About Biological Warfare
"Biological warfare?? What do they 'spect me to do about it? It's not my headache!" quips a curmudgeon at the beginning of this short, very mstable cold war era film. The film purports to give us the scoop on "B.W.", but it all just boils down to the message "Cooperate with the authorities," i.e. do as your told. Lots of fun moments. Another item for the Film Ephemera Museum of Quirky Devices: the "IDENTIFIED" rubber stamp.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ****. Weirdness: ****. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ****.
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